You've planned every detail of your fundraising event from nose to tail and are ready for the big day (hooray for you!). But wait, the venue you've chosen has gotten consumed by a giant sinkhole one week before your scheduled event? 😱 Holy smokes, what the heck are you gonna do?!
We know that the venue is literally the foundation in which your fundraising event is built on, but we see this situation all too often—innocent nonprofits down on their luck.
First off, don't panic (we know, it's a bit late for that)! The Funraise Events Team is at your service. Pour yourself a glass of wine or cup of tea, breathe easy, and let us work our magic. Luckily, we've got some tried and true* solutions to help you go from "oh no!" to "oh, thank goodness!".
Here are five disaster event venue scenarios and what you can do to save the day.
Botched scenario #1
Change in ownership. Overnight, the new owner transformed your venue into a two-story dog park/puppy nail salon
Solution: Unless your nonprofit is a dog rescue, chances are you'll need to find a new location ASAP! If you signed up for our Event Strategy Course, you should have received and completed the Venue Checklist (if not, save yourself some event planning stress and sign up today). Revisit the list and see if your number two choice is available (granted it still fits within your budget). Now that you need a new venue, move down the list until you've found a new option.
If none of your choices are available, it may be time to really think outside the box and go progressive dinner style and create a mobile gala brigade or musical houses. Who knows, donors might see how desperate you were and shell out the big bucks so they never have to attend an event like that again!
Botched scenario #2
Your venue got consumed by a monstrous sinkhole
Solution: How does the saying go about building a house upon sand? No matter—you've got to scout a new venue! In this case, it's probably best you don't press your luck... now's the time to find a fully-functional space built on a solid foundation. Use a venue search engine like EventUp or Unique Venues to punch in your dates, budget, sinkhole preferences, etc. You may want to make sure that whatever venue you move forward with is well-versed in the cause and likelihood of sinkholes to prevent further disasters!
Botched scenario #3:
Beyoncé also loved the venue that you booked and paid a hefty sum to the venue owners to host a private party the same day/time of your event, leaving you in the dust
Solution: Sorry friends, what Beyoncé wants, Beyoncé gets. If you don't plan on canceling your event altogether to try to sneak into her private party, then your next best bet is gonna be to find an extravagant AirBnB or Peerspace and pray they have enough restrooms to accommodate your guest count. When in doubt, an open bar helps to alleviate most situations, or at minimum, provide unlimited coffee and tea.
ProTip: If you're gonna go the sneaking-in route, wear generic security threads, a headset, carry a clipboard, and roll your eyes at anyone who questions you. Don't ask us how we know.
Botched scenario #4
All venue doors have been locked with a voice-activated password accessible only by the landlord who's on sabbatical inside a deep-sea submarine with no access to wi-fi
Solution: We're living in the future and with that comes some future-like problems. If you've been locked out by voice activation and have no chance of gaining access, don't get mad, get digital. Host a virtual gala where all attendees log in at your preferred time from the comfort of their own home and join a virtual silent disco auction. Create a themed playlist for guests to tune in and dance like no one's watching. Announce auction items to bid on every 15 minutes only allowing bids from folks who are logged in. Disclaimer: we've never attempted this, but if you try it out, let us know how it goes!
Botched scenario #5
A movie studio's turned the venue into a life-size replica of the Smurf Village with the Smurf theme song playing on an endless loop and no way to turn it off. Also, they're behind on filming and need the venue for an undisclosed amount of time. La, la, la, la, la, lame!
Solution: Talk about feeling blue. If this unfortunate scenario happens to you, smurf up! We're here to help. Assuming you're not besties with any hoteliers who can loan you their ballroom for the night, look no further than your own office space! Make your theme "The Office" and have staff dress up as characters from the show. Task them with shouting out a character's catchphrase when prompted. This route'll save you big on venue costs, leaving more room for other event-related extras like funds for a last-minute event planner who can smurf off your new idea in a pinch.
There you have it, nonprofiteers! If you're ever hit with a last-minute venue disaster, refer to this handy guide to help you get back on track to planning the best fundraising event ever!
And if you want some super useful tips (we mean it this time), sign up for the Plan, Raise, Engage 10-Day Event Strategy Series and become a nonprofit event planning savant!
*These scenarios and solutions are strictly for entertainment purposes only. We provide the fun to help you raise the funds!